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I spend most of my time on stack overflow, so I hope I have the right site.

As long as I can remember I have always ran a small ispconfig cluster, myispconfighost.com. During this time I have used a separate domain dedicated to dns. So I had:

www.cluster1.com
ns1.generic-dns-domain.com
ns2.generic-dns-domain.com

I am in the process to starting a cPanel farm as an alternative control panel. As some people like the reputation of the name.

Anyway. My question. Should a host use the same name server domain? Best explained by example..

Separate dns domain:

cluster1.com
ns1.cluster1.com
ns2.cluster1.com

cluster2.com
ns1.cluster2.com
ns2.cluster2.com

Combined dns domain:

cluster1.com
cluster2.com

ns1.generic-dns-domain.com  // cluster1.com dns server 1
ns2.generic-dns-domain.com  // cluster1.com dns server 2
ns3.generic-dns-domain.com  // cluster2.com dns server 1
ns4.generic-dns-domain.com  // cluster2.com dns server 2

Edit:

Each of the above are separate servers with their own IP. But is there a preferred way to name your nameservers when you require more than one group of name servers?

Edit..

I realise I should explain the reasoning for those not familiar with the automation of the control panels.

Ispconfig will create / update zone files. cPanel will create / update zone files.

Neither (by default) talk to each other. So if you used one server (ns1) and installed cpanel and ispconfig, the only data you would have is the last one to update the server, since cpanel and ispconfig will have different dns zone information.

  • "I am in the process to starting a cPanel farm as an alternative control panel. As some people like the reputation of the name." Not here! – ceejayoz Dec 22 '17 at 16:43
  • @ceejayoz I did say some people. Figured I'd follow the demand. – Bradmage Dec 23 '17 at 5:23
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It's a wholly personal/commercial decision. If you run your nameservers on the ISPConfig and cPanel servers (which I personally don't like but it's the default setup) then you will presumably be serving domains from each system separately, but if you are offering a unified product then having nameservers in the same domain is a useful, if cosmetic, detail.

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Each of the two cases has advantages and disadvantages.

In-bailiwick nameservers:

This is the technical term of your first case. In that case you have extra burden on administration as you need to both configure many nameservers (they can all have the same IP and go back to one physical server, but you still need to configure it with all the zones served) and also make sure to provide, for each domain, glue records to the registrars involved.

If you need to change that later for various reasons, you will have a lot of work, that can not be automated.

The positive side is that you control everything, and you reduce risks of some attacks where people can control either your domain or DNS queries from it by controlling outside domain name (like the domain name of the administrative contact email address of the domain, or the domain name on which nameservers are hosted).

Out-of-bailiwick nameservers:

This is your second case. You can basically take the previous part and consider the opposite.

You have less administrative tasks to do: if your nameserver changes its IP address you have only one change to do towards the registrar concerned, or even none depending on how things are setup, and it applies to all your domains. But, on the flip side you now depend on another domain, possibly in another TLD, and hence you need to trust it and you can be vulnerable from attacks on it.

For resiliency reasons and to protect from the previous attacks what is often done is the last case but having multiple nameservers in different TLD like:

ns1.example.com
ns1.example.org
ns1.example.example
  • Thanks for the detailed answer. I think I need to add more detail to my question. I will have four name servers either way, that won't change. It is just the configuration of the actual domain and sub domain names I'm trying to determine. – Bradmage Dec 23 '17 at 5:13
  • Start by putting the true name it woul be far simpler to understand. – Patrick Mevzek Dec 23 '17 at 5:45
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The ONLY difference is if you need to add GLUE records, since the records for example.com are under example.com the root servers need to know what those IPs might be, if you change IPs of your name servers you must remember to update your glue records.

Personal preference, many of us prefer a separate domain as to reduce impact of changes to that domain, minimize risk and such.

  • Thank you for your answer. But I think you completely mis interpreted my question. I don't want to know how to merge records. Just whether I should be running dns subdomains for each cluster I have. – Bradmage Dec 22 '17 at 13:39
  • If the zones are on all nodes, expose all nodes. – Jacob Evans Dec 22 '17 at 13:40
  • @Jacob-evens your last comment makes no sense at all. – Bradmage Dec 22 '17 at 13:43
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you can use same domain name for cpanel and nameservers. for this you need to register this newly created nameservers to your IP.

cpanel.myhost.com
ns1.myhost.com
ns2.myhost.com

Alternatively, you can host domains on your cpanel server and use existing name servers, you just need to point A record of domain dns to your cpanel server IP.

  • Unless I'm missing your point. You don't answer the question. I run dns (bind) servers and understand them. I'm asking if I should use the same primary domain for all my clusters. (ns1,ns2: ispconfig, ns3, ns4: cpanel) – Bradmage Dec 22 '17 at 11:23
  • I have reorganised my question. I hope it helps. – Bradmage Dec 22 '17 at 11:37
  • yes it will be good if you use same domain name to create all your nameservers entry it will help you to manage nameserver registration from one point. Configure ns1,ns2 on first cpanel server and other on different machine and update IP address accordingly. – Sunil Bhoi Dec 22 '17 at 12:11
  • I do not think you understand my question. It is not a question about cpanel. It is whether I should use the same domain for all my clusters. That have their own dns servers. – Bradmage Dec 22 '17 at 12:36

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